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Newsjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 01:00 AM
Original message
New NYT graphic: 'American Shame'
Edited on Sat Feb-19-11 01:01 AM by Newsjock
http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/02/19/opinion/19...
How the International Monetary Fund's "Advanced economy" countries compare on various measures.



Accompanying op-ed here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/opinion/19blow.html?_...

America is great in many ways, but on a whole host of measures some of which are shown in the accompanying chart we have become the laggards of the industrialized world. Not only are we not No. 1 U.S.A.! U.S.A.! we are among the worst of the worst.

Yet this reality and the urgency that it ushers in is too hard for many Americans to digest. They would prefer to continue to bathe in platitudes about Americas greatness, to view our eroding empire through the gauzy vapors of past grandeur.

Republicans have even submitted a draconian budget that would make deep cuts into the tiny vein that is nonsecurity discretionary spending, cuts that would prove devastating to the poor and working class.

At the very time that many Americans and the very country itself are struggling to emerge from a very deep hole, the Republican proposal would simply throw the dirt in on top of us.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 01:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. End the drug war, legalize and tax pot, take the savings and revenue and plug it into education
and health care.

That would go a long way towards repairing those numbers, in several columns.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 05:17 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Yes, and slash the pentagon.
Stop using the pentagon as the default incubator for economic growth (through contractors), for research (that we then give away to for-profit companies), and for hiring the unemployed (through enlisting).

When we need to have incubators for economic growth, let's do it directly, without the bias for defense industries.

When we want to fund research, let's do it openly and if the government funds it then the government should retain at a percentage of the profits on any product any private company creates and rolls out based on that research. That way, tax money spent leads to income coming in.

When we have periods of unemployment and people need jobs, instead of telling them to enlist and go fight and die so corporations can get oil contracts, and dictators can stay propped up, we should be simply creating direct work programs instead. The government should get over this allergy it seems to have to providing direct job assistance to the unemployed. We did it very successfully during the depression, with spectacular results and we should be repeating that historical experiment.

We should be hiring people and training them in construction and contracting, book keeping, transport, and other job skills by hiring them to repair PUBLIC highways and bridges and schools and hospitals and parks and business centers and municipal buildings. And when people help to repair or build something, put their name on it somewhere so that they can be proud of it and show their family and friends, and grandchildren in 50 years, that they did this and did it damned well!

And they would say "THAT'S what a good government does to help people!"

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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 05:22 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. We could easily get by with 2 or 3 of the 5 sides.
No, seriously, I agree with you. It's absurd to be talking about "entitlement reform" when we spend more than most other countries COMBINED on "defense". Ridiculous.

But, then, it's also absurd to be wasting money on "abstinence only" education or nanny-ninny bullshit criminalization of consensual consenting adult behaviors.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 05:31 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. We spend more than ALL other countries combined.
Edited on Sat Feb-19-11 05:31 AM by ThomCat
The one time I saw a chart that tried to claim that the US doesn't Quite spend that much, they were excluding war spending and VA spending from the total of Pentagon spending, as if the war and VA aren't organized through the Pentagon. :eyes:

If you have seen numbers that show greatly reduced US pentagon spending, or greatly increased world spending, so that somehow we aren't spending more than the entire rest of the world anymore, please share it. :)
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 05:33 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Okay, all. I was giving them the benefit of the doubt.
It makes you wonder who they're "defending" against. The Zeta Reticulans? :shrug:
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Raster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. The Pentagon and MIC are used as incubators for economic growth only because...
...the "economic growth" can be carefully funneled to whom they decide to enrich. War and it's infrastructure are only advantageous for a relatively privileged few. Peace and public works, however, spread the wealth around, something that is anathema to the Lords of Money.

Your post is spot-on! Thank you.
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
16. end ALL the wars
not just the war on drugs, but that too.
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Raster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. We Americans need to remove the "War on ***" from our national lexicon.
Statements like: "war on drugs" or "war on poverty"--however noble--contribute to the acceptance of conceptual overt militarization of the United States in every shape and form.
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. agreed
on fox they're still touting the "war on terror" as justification for stripped rights and torture.
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Raster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. It's always "war on something" in the United States. It's a type of national mind control, infusing
...a pro-military, tribal slant to everything. "War on this" or "battle for that".
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PufPuf23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 01:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. Many of us are what would be called Social Democrats elsewhere.
Edited on Sat Feb-19-11 01:13 AM by PufPuf23
We are secular, libertarian in individual freedoms, scientific/green, and see the utility in fairness and safety of wealth and income.

We are being drowned out by engineered social divides.

Our system seems to elect/select the stupid and corrupt and mis-place the blame on people trying to live simple and honest lives.

Maybe I am wrong too?
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 01:15 AM
Response to Original message
3. Only thing that I didn't expect on there was our science scores.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 05:39 AM
Response to Original message
8. Wow!!
Thanks for this
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 05:53 AM
Response to Original message
9. What the heck is the "Gallup Global Wellbeing Index"?
Edited on Sat Feb-19-11 06:04 AM by Art_from_Ark
And how do I know if I am "thriving" or not?
Being in Japan and having only a 19% chance of "thriving", can I assume then that I am NOT thriving? :shrug:
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a kennedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 06:21 AM
Response to Original message
10. Thank you for this......
so much for the greatest country on earth.... :eyes:
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demmiblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 06:27 AM
Response to Original message
11. The prison population numbers are staggering... no other country is even close. n/t
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Shining Jack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. U.S.A ! U.S.A ! U.S.A !
We're number one! (From the bottom).
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ReggieVeggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 07:49 AM
Response to Original message
13. a sad but necessary kick and rec
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PA Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 08:11 AM
Response to Original message
14. Our neighbors to the north our beating the pants off of us.
Edited on Sat Feb-19-11 08:11 AM by PA Democrat
Perhaps we should look at what they are doing right instead of continuing down the same disastrous path.

Off the top of my head I can think of a few reasons Canada ranks so highly:

Low military spending
Universal health care
Well-regulated banking system

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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 06:04 PM
Response to Original message
17. ...and the maroons are still screamng how this is the best country in the world....
Why should they ever let reality and facts interfere with their delusions....

This is humiliating....REALLY humiliating.
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JeffersonChick Donating Member (338 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
18. Note all those "evil socialist" nations at the top. n/t
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
21. Twice as mnay in prison as the 2nd most. 3 times as many as almost all the others
this society is really fucked up.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
22. semi-brief review begs the question "Where is China?"
other than that we pretty much suck
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. The chart compares the IMF's "advanced economy" countries
I don't know what the IMF's criteria are, but it looks like China, India, and all of Africa and South America are excluded.

It's reasonable to compare us to other industrialized countries, instead of giving us the chance to crow over meaningless comparisons to the Third World. (At least Taiwan is on there, to give us a country we can actually beat in a few categories.)
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anAustralianobserver Donating Member (440 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
24. A recent Medal of *Freedom* recipient had a lot to do with the *prison* score!
Edited on Sat Feb-19-11 09:13 PM by anAustralianobserver
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
25. k&r
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cantbeserious Donating Member (270 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
27. Yes, Yes - Always Remember That Our Opposition Can't Read And Does Not Like To Think
Even this chart is too difficult for the opposition to understand.
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